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Amid Anticipation of Elections, Zimbabwe Registrar Updating Voters Roll


Zimbabwe Election Support Network Director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava said the voters roll update is welcome, but should have been overseen by the recently reformed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

Zimbabwe's Office of the Registrar-General office says it has been updating the national voters role, though Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede says the exercise is not related to widespread expectations President Robert Mugabe may call elections in 2011.

Mudede told reporters on Tuesday that teams from his office have been collecting information since August around the country on voters who have died. He said some 32,000 cases of expired voters have been identified so far.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network Director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the list-cleaning exercise is welcome, but should have been overseen by the recently reformed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Political commentator Bekithemba Mhlanga told reporter Chris Gande that the voters roll cleanup will not work if the entire process is not computerized.

Elsewhere, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minster Morgan Tsvangirai, which has long demanded reform of the voters roll and the electoral system, says most of its young rural members lack identity cards thus are ineligible to vote.

MDC National Youth Assembly Chairman Thamsanqa Mahlangu said this is a matter of great concern in a country with so many young people.

Mahlangu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Tatenda Gumbo that the assembly has an ongoing registration program to help all youths who are unable to sign up to vote.

But he added that an up-to-date and transparent voters roll is critical.

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